Workout and Exercise You Can Take Anywhere Part 2

Cont of Workout and Exercise You Can Take Anywhere Part 1

Isometric lat-pulldown and shoulder press combo

Works: Upper back, shoulders and arms.

Setup: Stand tall with your shoulders low and relaxed, chest and rib cage lifted, and abdominals contracted. Raise your arms over your head, cross your wrists and make two fists. Tightly contract all the muscles in your hands, arms, shoulders and upper back; hold this contraction as you perform the exercise.

Movement: Uncross your wrists and lower your arms to each side, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do, until your fists are level with your shoulders. Still holding the contraction, raise your arms to the starting position again.

Thinking with your muscles: Imagine you’re trying to raise and lower your arms slowly while holding a heavy object in each hand. You’ll feel this in your arms and upper back as the arms go down and in your shoulders and arms as they go back up.

Six step push up

Works: Chest, shoulders, triceps and abdominals.

Setup: Lie facedown on the floor, heels upward and toes down. With your fingers pointing forward and your elbows bent, place your palms on the floor just in front of your shoulders. Push yourself up by straightening your arms, so that you’re supporting your weight on toes and hands. Pull your abdominals in and keep your spine, including your neck, in a straight line.

Movement: Lower your entire body one or two inches toward the floor by bending your elbows out to the sides. Hold for a slow count of five. From the new position, lower yourself twice more in the same way, until your body is just off the floor. Then raise yourself back through the previous positions, holding each for a count of five.

Thinking with your muscles: Although the main purpose of this exercise is to strengthen your chest, shoulders and arms, much of the control and holding power you need comes from your torso. Concentrate on keeping your spine straight and your abdominals strong.

Prone shoulder circles

Works: Upper back, shoulders and abdominals.

Setup: Lie facedown with your arms stretched in front of you, palms down and fingers pointing forward. Your legs should be straight out behind you, your toes softly pointed. Pull your abdominals in and tilt your pelvis downward until you feel your hipbones make firm contact with the floor. Keeping your arms straight, raise them a few inches off the floor and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Movement: Make a slow, wide circle with your arms until they’re against your sides with the fingers pointing toward your feet. Slowly reverse the circle and bring your arms back to the starting position.

Thinking with your muscles: Imagine that you’re doing the breaststroke. You’ll feel this exercise in your upper back and shoulders.

Isometric twist and crunch

Works: Abdominals and waist.

Setup: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head so that the thumbs are behind your ears; don’t lace your fingers together. Tilt your elbows slightly inward and tip your head back a little. Round your lower back into the floor by pulling your abdominals in toward your spine and tilting your pelvis upward.

Movement: Curl your head, neck and shoulders up off the floor and twist from the waist toward your right knee. Hold for a count of five. Without lowering yourself, twist from your waist toward your left knee; hold for a count of five. Again without lowering yourself, twist to the center and hold for a count of five. Return to your starting position on the floor.

Thinking with your muscles: You’ll feel a strong pull through your abdominals until you lower yourself to the starting position. In this exercise, you’re using your abdominals not only to flex and twist your spine but also to hold you up. The stabilization they provide is important to good posture, everyday movement, and sports and fitness activities.

Alternating oblique crunch

Works: Abdominals, waist and hip flexors.

Setup: Lie on your back with your legs raised directly over your hips and your knees slightly bent. Place your hands behind your head so that the thumbs are behind your ears; don’t lace your fingers together. Tilt your elbows slightly inward and tip your head back a little. Round your lower back into the floor by gently pulling your abdominals in toward your spine, and curl your upper body upward until your shoulder blades clear the floor.

Movement: Moving from the waist and leading with the left shoulder, twist your upper body to the right. As you do so, move your right leg a few inches back toward your left elbow. Without lowering yourself, twist your upper body to the left, at the same time moving your left leg a few inches back toward your right elbow. This is one repetition; do all reps before lowering yourself to the starting position.

Thinking with your muscles: Again, your abdominals act as stabilizers while they flex the spine. Do this exercise slowly, and concentrate on feeling it in your middle rather than in your legs or hips.

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Workout and Exercise You Can Take Anywhere Part 1

Weight machines and free weighs are great for increasing strength and toning muscles, but they don’t exactly slip into an overnight bag. Fortunately, your body itself can be just as effective in building muscular strength as anything that possesses a pulley or is structured of steel. Besides that, it’s the one piece of strength-training equipment you can take with you anywhere, and it won’t set off the metal detectors at the airport.

“The objective of any kind of strength training is to overload your muscles with more work than they’re used to handling,” says Patricia Hogan, Ph.D., associate professor of health promotion at Northern Michigan University. She notes that although most people strengthen their muscles with the aid of a dumbbell, barbell, weight machine or exercise band, the body’s weight alone may provide enough resistance to overload the muscles just as effectively as those sources of external resistance do. “That’s because your body doesn’t know the difference between 10 pounds of body weight and a 10-pound dumbbell,” explains Hogan.

Take abdominal crunches. They’re an excellent way of toning and strengthening your abdominal muscles, and it’s highly likely that you’ll feel a certain amount of fatigue in those muscles after a dozen or so repetitions. Most variations of this exercise, however, don’t call for the addition of any external weitht. The weight of your upper torso provides more than enough resistance overload to get the job done. Your muscles adapt to this extra work by growing stronger, and in time you can easily handle wrokloads that you might originally have struggled with.

Besides increased strength, using your body as a weight machine offers other benefits. “Exercises that manipulate your body weight in a variety of positions teach you to use your body more efficiently in everyday activities,” says Vincent Metzo, M.A., an exercise physiologist who works for the New York City-based firm Frontline Fitness. This translates into improved coordination, better balance and a more keenly developed physical awareness. For instance, the primary purpose of the Jump-squat-jump in the following exercise routine, according to Metzo, is to strengthen your buttocks, things and calves. But it also improves your ability to do vertical leaps and educates your body to jump and land correctly. Think about that the next time you have to slam a serve or spike a volleyball–or do something even more basic, like leap a large puddle.

Metzo, who designed the body-weight-only workout shown here, recommends that you use it as a substitute for your regular strength-training routine once a week or whenever weight equipment isn’t available. Start with one set of eight repetitions of each exercise, and perform them in the order they’re listed in.

To get the most from these exercises, you should do them slowly and precisely; correct form is essential. When you’re ready for more, increase the number of repetitions to 20 and the number of sets to three per exercise.

Jump-squat-jump

Works: Buttocks, thighs and calves.

Setup: Stand with your feet hip width apart, your knees bent one or two inches, and your palms on the tops of your thighs. Look straight ahead and expand your chest by relaxing your shoulders back and down. Pull your abdominals inward, maintaining a natural curve in your spine.

Movement: Gently spring a few inches upward off the balls of your feet, and land softly and quietly with your feet about six inches farther apart than in the starting position. As your feet contact the ground, bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Tighten your buttocks, gently spring upward again and land in the starting position.

Thinking with your muscles: Picture a cat jumping off a table and landing on the floor without making a sound. You’ll feel this exercise in your calves, legs and outer thighs as you jump upward and in your buttocks and legs as you rise out of the squat position.

Plie slide

Works: Buttocks, thighs and calves.

Setup: Stand tall with your feet about a yard apart, your toes angled slightly outward, your knees directly over your heels and your hands on your hips.

Movement: Bend your knees and lower your body, keeping your torso straight, until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Lift your right heel off the floor, point your toe, and tighten the muscles of your entire right leg and buttock. Straighten your knees, at the same time dragging your right toe inward along the floor until your feet are hip-width apart and your knees are only slightly bent. Step out into the starting position again, and repeat with your left leg.

Thinking with your muscles: As you pull your foot inward, pretend that you’re drawing a line in wet sand with your toe. This “slide” places special emphasis on the inner thigh.

Outward thigh rotation

Works: Outer thighs and buttocks.

Setup: Lie on your left side with your head resting on your outstretched arm. Bend your right arm and place your palm on the floor in front of your chest. With your legs together, bend both knees about 90 degrees so that your upper legs are slightly forward of the rest of you and your top hip is directly over your bottom hip.

Movement: Flex your top foot and, keeping your heels together, open your legs as much as you comfortably can by turning your top leg out from the hip. Return to the starting position. As you move your leg in both directions, squeeze your buttocks together. Do an equal number of repetitions with both legs.

Thinking with your muscles: Think of your heels as a hinge and your top leg as the lid of a cedar chest that you’re opening and closing. To really feel this in your outer thigh, focus on rotating from the hip rather than the knee.

Inner-thigh taps

Works: Inner thighs.

Setup: Lie on your left side with your legs straight and your head resting on your out-stretched arm. Bend your right arm and place your palm on the floor in front of your chest. Raise your right leg a few inches, keeping it directly over your left leg, and turn it outward from the hip until your toes are at a 45-degree angle to the floor.

Movement: Lift your left leg straight up till your heels touch, then lightly tap the heels together and move them apart 12 times. Tighten your buttocks as you tap. Return to the starting position. This is one repetition; do an equal number of reps with both legs.

Thinking with your muscles: Pretend your top leg is immovable and put all your energy into the tapping movement of the bottom leg. You’ll feel this exercise in both inner thighs.

Continue reading part 2 . .

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Excercise and Workout for Bigger Chest Muscle

how to get big chest muscleCABLE-CROSSOVER

Works the overall pectoral muscles as well as the muscles between the ribs that support the chest. Standing midway between the pulley towers, reach up and grab one pulley handle in each hand. Place your right leg forward, slightly bent. Bend forward at the waist. Now, keeping elbows slightly bent, slowly pull both handles across your body as if giving someone a bear hug. Finish the move with your hands just crossing each other in front of you. Slowly return to the initial position and repeat.

DECLINE BENCH

This exercise hits the lower pectoral muscles. Lie on a decline bench with your feet elevated and secured under the pads at the high end of the bench. Have a spotter place a dumbbell in each of your hands. Hold them at chest level, with your palms facing your feet. Now push the weights upward and away from your chest. As you extend your arms, slowly turn your wrists so your palms face each other and press the dumbbells together. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat.

DUMBBELL FLY

Builds the upper chest and shoulder region. Holding two dumbbells, lie on your back on a flat exercise bench and extend your arms straight up above your shoulders. (Your palms should be facing each other while holding the weights.) Bend your elbows slightly. Slowly lower the dumbbells out to your sides in a semicircular arc until they’re as low as comfortably possible. Now slowly bring them back together above your chest, retracing the same semicircular arc. Be sure not to lock your elbows during the movement; that will take the tension off the pectorals and deliver it to the joints instead.

THE PEC-DECK

This exercise works the area surrounding the sternum, or breastbone, as well as the lower pectorals. Sit in the pec-deck machine, keeping your back straight and pressed against the back rest–no slouching. Grasp the bars located above each arm pad so your upper arms are parallel to your chest and in line with your shoulders. Keeping your forearms firmly against the pads, slowly squeeze them together. Then ease the pads back to your sides as far as is comfortable and repeat.

WEIGHTED PUSHUP

Works the entire pectoral region as well as the triceps and abdomen. You’ll need a spotter for this exercise. Kneel on the floor and place your hands about 2-1/2 feet apart. Place your legs straight behind you so your weight is resting on your hands and toes, with your head up and back straight, just as you would in an ordinary pushup. Have your spotter place a 10-pound weight plate on your back, between your shoulder blades. (If you’re a beginner, do this exercise without the added weight.) Now, keeping your body straight, lower yourself until your chest touches the floor. Pause at the bottom and return to the starting position. Do as many repetitions of the exercise as you can. Then have your spotter remove the plate and continue the exercise until you’ve completely exhausted your muscles.

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Different Kind of Power Pushups

types of power pushupsBENT-KNEE PUSHUPS (work the shoulders and triceps)

“This is not a sissy pushup, “says Steinfeld. “It’s a must-do to warm up the muscles and develop good technique.” Keeping your back straight, support yourself on your knees and palms. Your arms should be straight and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your upper body to the floor, keeping your trunk straight. Raise back to the starting position.

INCLINE PUSHUPS (emphasize the upper chest)

Stand facing a wall, about 2 to 3 feet away, arms straight out in front of you. Touch the wall with palms flat and support your weight. Slowly lower your chest to the wall, keeping your knees and back straight. Push back out.

DECLINE PUSHUPS (work the lower chest, triceps and shoulders)

Assume a bent-knee pushup position in front of an exercise bench or a chair. Using your arms to support your body weight, elevate both feet behind you on the bench or chair. Keep your knees locked and your back straight as you lower your chest to the floor and push back up. Since raising your legs throws more weight onto the upper body, this exercise is harder than the preceding ones. Do 6 to 10 repetitions.

STANDARD PUSHUPS (work the triceps, chest and shoulders)

Lie face down on the floor with your palms at shoulder level, fingers pointing forward. Push yourself up until your body weight rests only on your palms and toes. Some variations: * To accent the chest, place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. * To target triceps and back muscles, bring hands close together, so that thumbs and index fingers touch, forming a diamond pattern on the floor.

CHAIR DIPS (work chest, triceps and shoulders and improve shoulders’ range of motion)

Place two benches or chairs of equal seat height shoulder-width apart. Kneel between them, place one hand flat on each scat, and extend your legs behind you so your weight is evenly supported by your arms and your feet. Lower your upper body just below the plane of the seats or benches, or as low as you can without pain. Hold the position for a second, then raise yourself back to the starting position. Work up to 10 repetitions.

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Adding Muscle Where it Counts III – Personalizing Your Routine

different body typesAfter assessing and measuring yourself, the next step is planning your routine. Choose the body type below that best approximates your present shape and then follow the designated routine. Before starting any exercise program, however, check with your physician first. If you’re a beginner, get qualified instruction.

The workouts consist of both freeweight and machine exercises (you can find explanations of how to perform them in any good weight-training book). Bar- bells are best for adding size to muscle groups that need extra emphasis. Dumbbells and machines help isolate muscles for general toning. To find your correct starting weight, select a poundage that allows you to lift 10 to 12 reps easily. On subsequent sets, increase the poundage. The last few reps of each set-whether the set has high or low repetitions-should feel diffi- cult.

Exercise slowly through a full range of motion. Try to maintain continuous tension on each rep of every movement. This style will help stimulate more muscle fibers, leading to better results. Except where noted, work out three days a week, on non-consecutive days. Give your muscles a 48- to 72-hour recovery period before you work them again.

ROUTINES FOR EVERY BODY

Bodytype A. Your body is on the endomorphic side-with wider hips in relation to narrow shoulders. You may carry some extra bodyfat on your lower body, so incorporate a prudent lowfat, low-calorie diet and regular aerobics into your fitness plan.

Your weight-training routine has two aims: to add shape to your upper body and to tighten the thigh and hip muscles of your lower body. This will help improve your overall symmetry.

By developing your shoulders, back, and chest more fully, you can offset your wider hips, creating more balanced proportions. Your best exercise bets for the upper body are free-weight exercises using heavy poundage and low reps.

At the same time, you want to firm up your hips and thighs to make them appear slimmer. Do this with light-weight/ high-repetition exercises.

Here’s a routine for A-frames: Upper-Body Specialization Workout Barbell shoulder press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Dumbbell side lateral raise

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Lat pulldowns

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Dumbbell shrugs

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Barbell bench press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Dumbbell flyes

8-10 reps 2-3 sets Machine curls

10-12 reps 1-2 sets Triceps pressdown

10-1 2 reps 1-2 sets Lower-Body-Toning Workout Leg press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Leg curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Seated calf raises

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Bodytype H. You possess a figure that’s close to the classic mesomorph- muscular and athletic. The H-frame has a square shape with a wide midsection, and upper and lower bodies of relatively equal proportion.

A weight-training workout that emphasizes light weights and high repetitions and includes extra exercises for the waist will help you achieve a trimmer, more symmetrical look. Aerobic exercise combined with a healthy lowfat diet will aid fat loss.

Here’s a routine that includes some excellent waist-shapers for the midsection. Midsection Specialization Workout Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1 set Knee raises

12-15 reps 1 set Twisting situps

12-15 reps 1 set

(with knees bent) Body-Toning Workout Lunges

12-15 reps 1

(with body weight or light dumbbells held to the side) Leg curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Toe press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

(using a leg press machine) Machine bench press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Lat pull downs

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Dumbbell shoulder press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Machine curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets Triceps press down

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Bodytype I. Many women consider you fortunate! You have a lithe, lean ectomorphic figure. Most likely, you can eat pizza, cheesecake, and other goodies without ever gaining an ounce. With a few more curves on your figure, you can look even shapelier.

Your best approach is to work out in a weight-training routine featuring heavy poundage and low reps. This scheme will develop and tone lean body mass, resulting in improved contours. Plenty of barbell exercises are included to maximize shape. Here’s a good routine for 1- frames:

Overall-Body-Development Workout Squats

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Leg curls

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Standing calf raises

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Barbell bench press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Barbell shoulder press

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Barbell bent-over rowing

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Weighted crunches

8-10 reps 2 sets

Barbell curls

8-10 reps 2 sets

Triceps extension

8-10 reps 2 sets

Bodytype O. Your figure combines endomorphic and mesomorphic qualities: fuller hips, thighs, and midsection, with a higher ratio of bodyfat to muscle.

Women with O-frames often need to reduce bodyfat. The key to slimming is calorie balance. You must decrease your caloric intake while increasing your caloric expenditure. Again, a lowfat diet combined with regular aerobics is a must.

Another way to expend more calories is to add a fourth weight-training session to your schedule. Yours, therefore, is a split routine, which divides the body into halves. Each half is worked twice a week for a total of four workouts.

For 0-frames, the goals of weight training should be overall body toning and contouring. Light weights and high repetitions fill the bill.

The following routine is designed to be used four times a week:

Body-Toning Workout

Monday – Thursday (Lower Body) Leg press or lunge

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Leg extensions

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Leg curls

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Seated calf raises

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Twisting situps

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Tuesday/Friday (Upper Body)

Machine bench press

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Dumbbell shoulder press

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Dumbbell row

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Alternating dumbbell curls

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Triceps extension on a machine

12-15 reps 2-3 sets

Bodytype T. The rationale behind your routine is simple: tighten upper-body trouble spots while adding shape to your lower body. The reason is that T-frames tend to be top-heavy in proportion to the rest of their bodies.

To bring your upper body more in line with your lower body, perform light weight/high-repetition work for your shoulders, back, and chest. For greater development of your hips and thighs, choose heavy weights and low repetitions.

Here’s a sample workout for T-frames: Upper-Body-Toning Workout Dumbbell bench press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Dumbbell shoulder press

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Lat pulldowns

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Machine curls

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Triceps machine

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Lower-Body-Development Workout Squats

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Leg curls

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Standing calf raise

8-10 reps 2-3 sets

Abdominal crunches

12-15 reps 1-2 sets

Bodytype X. Lucky you! Your figure approaches the classic hourglass shape. Your upper body and lower body are in equal proportion. What’s more, you have a small waistline. A routine that concentrates on overall toning (light weights/high reps) will help you keep that shape in excellent condition.

Body-Toning Workout For X-Frames Lunges

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Leg extensions

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Leg curls

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Seated calf raises

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Abdominal machine

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Machine bench press

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Shoulder-press machine

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Pullover machine

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Dumbbell curls

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Triceps pressdown

10-12 reps 1-2 sets

Body types aside, we all come in a pleasing variety of sizes and shapes. Rather than try to fashion yourself after someone else, make the best of what you’re born with. Then be happy and comfort able with your own wonderfully fit body. That, in a nutshell, is the real reward of training for symmetry.

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